22 Mar If You Want The Sale, Be Bold (Part Two)
Last week I brought you some information that I picked up from an interview that I read with Robert Bloom. This week I want to continue that conversation. Why? He shared a lot of good information that I think you can use.
Every vendor is fighting for business. Let’s face it, there are fewer lenders out there. So, what do you do? Too many vendors get caught up in talking features and functionality or they sell buzzwords instead of their product. The market is changing. These tactics don’t work. In this new market, here’s what Robert Bloom suggests that you do to get the sale:
He was asked by the online publication: “What can sellers do to create customer preference?”
He responded, “There is a new coffee shop that opened near my home in New York. They have great coffee. (You have to be able to offer a good product or service; that’s the price of entry.) With every coffee you buy, you get a tiny loaf of cake that’s wrapped in a paper with their logo on it. People clamor for it. It’s a way of creating preference and of reminding people to go back. They also welcome people as they come into the shop. You can create preference by welcoming someone.
“Here’s another example. When I was a kid, we’d take long drives. My father used to say that Mobil stations had cleaner restrooms. So if we were driving along and we weren’t dying for gas, he would drive a little farther so we could go to a Mobil station. Cleaner restrooms were the reason my father preferred Mobil stations.”
“You can create preference by helping people make better decisions. Say someone wants to buy a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day. The florist can create preference by helping the customer choose flowers by asking questions like, Where do you think she’ll put them? or What color does she prefer? Or by telling the customer which flowers will stay fresher longer. That customer may not be loyal to that particular florist, but the florist creates preference by helping him.
“You create preference by giving your customers small—or big— benefits. You don’t have to give away the store. There are a lot of ways to create top-of-mind awareness and preference.”
One way that he suggests that sellers get the attention of buyers is to think more like buyers. He adds, “You have to get in the head of your buyer. You have to know what your customer’s needs, fears and wants are. You have to listen to the customer.
“Today’s customers come ready to buy; they didn’t come ready to buy 10 years ago because they didn’t have the information. The seller had to explain how things worked. If a customer goes into a store today and the salesperson starts telling them the features of a product they’ve already researched and studied on the Internet, they’re likely to be offended. Today’s buyers have already done their homework.
“Instead, you have to make a friend. If the customer doesn’t like you, chances are he’s not going to buy from you. Get him to trust and like you. Ask questions to discover his needs. If you ask the right questions and listen to your customer, you’ll get in his brain. Get inside his heart and understand what’s really working there. Don’t start selling him; start listening to him.”
I think that’s key in getting the sale in our business. A lot of sales are replacement sales where you are replacing one of your competitors. So, don’t try to be your competition, be you instead. Talk about your value proposition and have an honest dialogue. Most lenders know about what’s on the market so flashy speak won’t work.
In order to get the sale you have to bold enough to be real instead of relying on hype.